Military News

Monday, June 01, 2015

Wolf Pack celebrates AAPIH

by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


6/1/2015 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- On May 7, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a proclamation designating May 1990 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Today, 25 years later, May continues to be observed in the Wolf Pack as a time to reflect, learn and celebrate the impact Asian and Pacific Islanders have had in history.

"We showcase all of the different cultures throughout the Pacific Islands and Asia," said Master Sgt. Maile Bottorf-Wilkinson, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron superintendent of logistics plans and AAPIH event coordinator. "With the diversity the world has, it's important to celebrate it and bring awareness to other people who may not have grown up around it or experienced those types of cultures."

Team Wolf Pack kicked off the festivities for AAPIH month with an oriental-themed night at the Loring Club.

"We also surprised everybody with a Flash Mob Dance with about 25 dancers who participated," said Master Sgt. Katherine R. Simpkins, 8th Fighter Wing Administration and 3A functional manager.

Also featured throughout the month were a Hot Hula fitness demolition, a lumpia-making class, a Spring Fling Block Party, a Lunch & Learn event at the professional development center, and an Amazing Race. The finale of Team Wolf Pack's AAPIH month was a Luau Party, which showcased oriental cuisines and cultural dances from countries and tribes throughout the Pacific region.

"We had more than 50 volunteers and representatives from across the Wolf Pack community who graciously devoted their time in the multiple events throughout the month," said Master Sgt. Froilan M. Flores, 8th Force Support Squadron fitness and sports section chief. "It was a collaboration of Airmen with different cultural backgrounds that wanted to help out because we wanted to share something about us and our home with everyone."

Heritage months such as AAPIH also help broaden Airmen's perspectives about different nationalities. In particular, this year's theme was "Many Cultures, One Voice: Promote Equality and Inclusion."

"Many Airmen might assume that these events are only for those with Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage," Simpkins said. "We are in a diverse community, so we should take advantage of observance months by learning about each culture and how we can support one another."

As Kunsan Airmen come from a wide range of nationalities, highlighting diverse cultural backgrounds brings a plethora of ideas and ways of thinking to the Wolf Pack community.

"The best part of celebrating AAPIH month at the Wolf Pack is how we support the events as a team and as a family," Simpkins said. "Airmen from all backgrounds helped with the planning, and that's how we pulled off the events successfully."

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